Exploring Solutions: Discovering the issue queue (onboarding really new people)

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So, we know that if you're new to Drupal, the issue queue can be pretty overwhelming.
Actually, worse than that, it can be completely undiscoverable!

Here's a place to start exploring possible ways to make the experience of getting started contributing to Drupal a more pleasant and inspiring one.

  1. Community & Support pages on Drupal.org as gateway page

We need to take another look at this section (http://drupal.org/community) - this was intended to be the doorway into the community for newcomers and it's really not doing the job at the moment (I'm allowed to say that, I mostly designed it wayback). It should make the issue queue visible (tho not be the 'home' of the issue queue - rather be the 'safe' entry point for people lacking in experience/confidence), it should provide supporting information re: making sense of the issue queue (acronym unscrambler, how work happens here, people you should know about perhaps? - there is a pretty average members directory that needs fixing or removing)

  1. Mentoring? is this feasible? how might it work?

  2. issues tagged as particularly good for beginners? again, feasible? how might it work? who might actually think to tag things this way?

  3. Ways for non-coders to contribute - a description of things you can do to contribute if you're not a developer and where you might get started (specific actions, not general vast tasks you're incapable of tackling by yourself, perhaps maintained by leaders in the relevant team eg. usability, design, documentation?)

  4. Following tags and people - Imagine if I could say 'I'm into Usability' or 'I'm into security' and the site gave me a set of people, projects, issues to get started following?

Thoughts on these? More ideas?


Good example

eigentor's picture

Recently I filed a bug to TinyMCE. So I went to their issue tracker and had a pleasant experience. What?
1. It looks nice http://tinymce.moxiecode.com/develop/bugtracker.php
2. One can vote on issues, so they can get on top. Before you post an issue you find that 253 other people also think this should be solved. You do not post the issue, give your vote and say yay!
3.I got an answer quickly. And even by a human - which I could tell by his
4. profile picture http://tinymce.moxiecode.com/develop/bugtracker_view.php?id=4033 No Profile pictures in Drupal Issue queue? Shame. Are we all Borg?
Though he basically told me to go to hell, I was still on the plus scale.
If I did not get an answer, I could at least have gone back from time to time to see if my issue gets votes. If it does not, either everybody is evil or maybe my issue was silly or worse, irrelevant.

Anybody else examples for a nice first time issue queue experience?

Life is a journey, not a destination


catch's picture

A major issue we have is that the issue queue is used for things it shouldn't be (look at the 'support requests' in the Drupal core queue for example, or Views), and often forum posts, groups, planet posts, twitter are used where the issue queue should be.

http://chicago2011.drupal.org/coreconv/closing-drupal-support-gap would help since we'd have a dedicated place for support instead of the fractured places there are now, this would then make it easier to define what the issue queue is for. And then cross-pollination between the two would be easier - like referencing support requests from issues and vice-versa.

totally agree...

leisareichelt's picture

I think you're totally right that support is intertwined with this project.
I did a diagram earlier (well, made a bunch of boxes) that starts to outline all the areas I think we're actually going to touch and support is in there. https://disambiguity.notableapp.com/posts/187764

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com

We're working on it. Plug -


leisareichelt's picture

let's really try to make sure we're keeping track of what each other is working - will ping you if/when we start crossing into 'support'-related territory.

For the time being re: Catch's comment, I think the problem is less to do with the issue page and more to do with the infrastructure surrounding it (being directed to the right place to go for support, then getting support when you go there). An important consideration tho, to be sure.

leisa reichelt - disambiguity.com

Yeah, I'm tracking the

davidhernandez's picture

Yeah, I'm tracking the discussions in /documentation-team, /drupal-org-redesign-plan-drupal-association, /prairie-initiative, /support-infrastructure, http://groups.drupal.org/node/136294, IRC, aaaaaaaand a bunch of other places. There is a lot of intersecting talk going, and I'm worried about a 12 car pile up.

onboarding project proposal for gsoc

yoroy's picture

What kind of dashboard blocks would help with this?
A guided tour?

"Great module, you've been using it a lot, but that one thing you think should be done differently? Here's how to approach that…"

When are things bugs, when feature requests, when tasks? Where do I learn about that?

Pushing the scope even more:
- Why sign up on d.o. at all?
- How does sign up work and on completion, what happens next?

yoroy's picture


(because great coders can be really new too)

Community Page

mgifford's picture

There's an issue for the community page:

I added mentor to:

There are certainly ways for non-coders to contribute. There is a Novice tag now and also docs like https://drupal.org/node/1319140 but we're looking at pre-novice.

SimplyTest.me is useful for testing patches for non-tech users

I also think there's merit in just reminding folks what they can do next:

Following tags and people is an amazing idea for new folks....